Homo[+]/Homo 2, Phase 3
Human intestines are home to a rich ecosystem made up of trillions of microorganisms. This community, known as the gut flora or microbiota, directly affects brain activity and many bodily systems. Human hosts directly affect their bacterial inhabitants through diet and lifestyle. In this complex system, humans and their microbiota co-shape one another. The human is no longer a singular organism; the human is instead a complex community.
Homo [+]/Homo 2, Phase 3: is an outdoor installation exhibited at the Wassaic Summer Festival that activates human bodies as partially open, interspecies systems. Through the act of interspecies eating, humans shape internal and external microbial environments, simultaneously shaping the human.
Internal: Humans purchase interspecies candies from a coin-operated machine. The candies are enriched with dehyrdrated prebiotics (nutrition for the gut bacteria), from vegetable sources: leek, garlic, onion and kale. As humans eat the candy, they feed their bacterial co-inhabitants.
External: When the candy dispenses it opens a switch, activating various environmental shifters which directly affect the growth of bacteria contained within a glass box. The environmental shifters include: heat lamp, UV lamp, humidifier. The bacteria sample is taken from the ground near the installation.
Special thanks to the Wassaic Project.